Okay, so I see by my 27 profile views that people are perhaps becoming a bit antsy for updates. All right, here goes:
My host family is AWESOME. Four kids at home, ages 15, 17, 19, and 22 (boy, girl, girl, girl) and all really helpful and willing to speak slowly for me. The apartment building is about a 5-minute walk from l'Arc de Triomphe, and it's not really in a residential district - just right there among the shops and restaurants. It has a courtyard and everything! My room looks out onto the courtyard, which has trees and such. I shall have to be much more vigilant about closing my curtains here than I was at school, since there's a room directly across from mine that probably, with my luck, houses a dirty old Frenchman.
Today I wandered around my neighborhood for a bit, then took the Métro to Île de la Cité (where Nôtre Dame is) and wandered around there. It being Sunday, most of the shops were closed, but the Champs-Élysées was good for people-watching. I walked along the Seine, too, and saw bikers taking their lives in their hands by whizzing along about a foot from the edge - not something I could ever do.
I paid close attention to what people are wearing so I can try to blend in some - I must buy some skinny jeans to wear with boots or ballet flats, as that is definitely the style here. Happily, Converse All-Stars are very in as well, and I just happen to have brought mine. Berets, surprisingly enough, are fashionable this season, and I think I can pull that off, so I might just have to subscribe to the oldest French fashion stereotype in the book and buy one.
I've now taken two showers in this apartment, and I can't seem to figure it out. Before you say "Dear Lord, Lisa, how hard is it to take a shower?" please continue reading and reserve judgment until the end. See, the set-up is that there's a tub, but no curtain - instead, there's a door that reaches perhaps halfway down the side and then stops, leaving the rest of one long side and one short side unprotected. That wouldn't be so bad, but then there's a faucet, like normal, a hand-held showerhead, which is nice--and no place to hang said hand-held showerhead. Faced with this dilemma yesterday, on 2 hours of sleep, I managed to get only my own clothing wet, surprisingly enough. Any suggestions? The contortions I perform are amusing, but will quickly get frustrating.
Ah bon, I'm tired and I have a full day of cell-phone buying and "This is how you behave in France" lecture-going tomorrow, so I shall go to bed.
The Rest of the D.R.
7 years ago